Speaker Presentation: Professor Dr. Markus A. Reuter - Director, Technical Management Outotec Finland
Austmine members were treated to an informative and highly thought-provoking breakfast in June with Professor Dr. Markus A. Reuter, Director of Technology Management at Outotec Finland. Markus has an impressive resume, including working over the years for Anglo American, Mintek, Delft University of Technology, before joining Outotec in 2006.
Markus addressed the issue of the Circular Economy. As he noted, the mining industry is an extremely important part of the circular economy, a fact which Outotec is clearly cognisant of, as the 12th most sustainable company in the world in 2015. Having the required infrastructure is of course critical to our involvement in recycling more of the metals we produce as a sector: as Markus pointed out, if you don't have a smelter than you can't recycle!
Markus referred to a term of "product centric recycling." By this, he means you must consider the total mineralogy of a product, rather than a couple of components. He gave the example of a traditional light bulb, vs. LED lights. LED lights are frequently viewed as the better option, with improved energy efficiency. However, the number of components that go into making the LED lights make them significantly harder to recycle (i.e. too expensive, thereby making it non-viable). So which really is the better option long term?
Markus went on to note how we need to consider how easy a final product will be to recycle right in from the design phase, using simulation of component recovery to shape and inform the design. He emphasised how as a sector we need to increase the number of bright, young minds coming through education to help drive this in the future.
Austmine members can download Markus' full presentation below.